Learn Conte Crayon

Conte Crayon drawing

by Ed Nielson

Free online art classes student


Why do so many artists enjoy working with Conte Crayon?Find out why! I have created four video project videos showing several shading techniques using conte crayon.

 If you feel you need better drawing skills after watching the videos, go to my Basic Drawing Lessons by clicking this link.

Learning to draw with Conte crayon...

Conte Crayon has a light oil content that allows the pigment to stick to paper yet be workable in drawing to create effects of dark and light.

With Conte Crayon you can produce dark areas (the appearance of shadows)  by solid applications of the crayon and light areas (the appearance of illumination) by using an eraser to off and lighten areas.  In this way you can work shading and light back and forth until you get just the right effects.  This is a very flexible way of working that permits exploring light and shadow, dark and light in a very painterly way.

Conte Crayon comes in earth-colored sticks (dark browns, sepias, ambers, terra cotta reds, dark blues and blacks) as well as a vibrant palette of colors (scarlet reds, cobalt blues, deep greens, bright yellows, whites.) Conte Crayon sticks are small and easy to handle. Working with Conte Crayon sticks is like drawing and painting at the same time.

By rubbing the Crayon back and forth on a piece of paper, you can bevel the end to a point, which permits you to make a fine, expressive line.

A drawing in Conte Crayon can be made permanent by an application of fixatif, and because the pigments are pure and permanent, a Conte Crayon drawing on good quality, acid free paper will not change over many decades.

If you like to draw, give Conte Crayon a try with my fun, easy and FREE  video project lessons that will introduce you to drawing with Conte crayons and show you step by step, information-rich demonstrations of basic skills and techniques. 

Read my Ezine article, "When Is A Crayon Not A Crayon?" It's all about the history of Conte Crayon and its uses for artists and art students!

Click here to start The FREE Conte Crayon Video Project Lessons.

Real Feedback

Hello Lois. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn hoy to draw and paint in diferentes styles and techniques. I just started and I've never had taken any classes til now with your tutorial.

I really worldwide appreciate your comments about my still life exercise. I specially have problems with shading the table and painting the wood graining (as you can se in the picture) and also the table cloth. The melon sas difficult too, I feel something is missing there too . (Some things in the picture I didn't want them to apear in my painting)

I'm starting to work with the landscape. As son as I have ir done I'll send you the picture.

Best regards and thank you again.

Andrea Berkefeld (from México)


Lois, Thank you so much for this video. You have really outdone yourself on this one. I am truly inspired to give this a try! This is really stunning! I love it. I wanted you to know that you have been a real blessing to me. After the sudden passing of my husband (of 33 yrs.) I decided to take up art, and your site was one of the first I came across. It was, and still continues to be one of my favorite sites for inspiration and relaxed learning. You're a gem. Keep it up!

Thanks Much

Kim Tanner


I discovered your website today and I am so impressed by the content. Not only it is free but is far superior to other websites.

My name is Dena and I'm from Queensland in Australia. Just recently (few weeks ago I picked up a paint brush and love it!!! I'm a Mother of 4 and 46 this year, work full time real estate sales.

I've never had an art lesson and was surfing the Internet for free tutorage on acrylics. That's how I discovered your incredibly helpful site.

You are the one that should be charging not the majority of other ones I have found. My question to you is below is a painting that I'm trying to copy, however the running bits of paint at top I'm not sure how to get that effect.

I'm only on lesson one of yours as I just discovered it only hours ago. But if you would share with me how to achieve this it would be greatly appreciated.

Again, thank you for such rich information on your site. I'm so excited to get to experiment with all you share



I have had the immense pleasure of discovering your web site and found your online studies. I am a retired person and one of my goals now is to learn drawing and eventually, painting, at which time I'll need formal tutoring or teaching. I made the list of materials to start drawing and am now going out to buy them, then I'll start the six lessons you suggest. I am so excited that I wanted to thank you for being so generous to the rest of us by teaching freely on line. Happy New Year!

Jorge del Valle